Expat Life in Qatar

Pool and Beach Access PLUS Stand Up Paddleboarding at Intercontinental Doha

March 30, 2016
Pool and beach access Intercontinental Doha PinayFlyingHigh.com-2

“Instead of being lazy by the pool and the beach, I want you to try something else. Have you ever done SUP?” was the message I received from Intercontinental Doha’s PR Manager a day before we were supposed to visit their hotel for a pool and beach access review. She was talking about Stand-Up Paddle boarding which I have been wanting to try for the longest time, my answer of course was YES! Though I know that it’s going to be so hard for me to do it as I’m the most non-active person in the face of the earth. I was up for it, I was pretty sure though that I won’t be up on that paddle board for long.

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We arrived at Intercontinental Doha at around 9:45am and I was immediately impressed by what I’ve seen. If there’s one thing I’m an expert of, it would be judging how beautiful a beach is. Being a Filipino – I grew up seeing the numerous beautiful, tropical beaches of the Philippines. This is the reason why I have never spent a day on any beaches here in Middle East even if I have lived in this region for almost a decade now. I was convinced that I will always be disappointed, until I’ve seen the one at Intercontinental Doha.

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It’s stunning, huge, with a real beach sand (not the muddy ones you’ll normally find in different resorts/hotels here) and the most important thing of all is, the view is an endless sea! No buildings nor construction sites at the horizon. I also love the cottages dotted all over the beach, it does make you feel like you’re in a tropical island and not in the Middle East.

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Qatar Expat Women’s Positive Support Group organized an event in partnership with Intercontinental Doha and Surf and Soul, the company specializing on Stand Up Paddle. The group organizes a lot of outdoor and indoor events around Qatar for all the expat women living here, it was a delight to be with them and I’m grateful that they let us crash this one particular event they organized.

Surf and Soul instructors gave a quick introduction and the do’s and dont’s of SUP before we were split into two groups and hopped on our paddle boards. They made it look so easy which of course I learned right away is not the real case. As soon as I was up kneeling on my paddle board, balancing was already a problem – what more if I stood up?

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I do love the instructors of Surf and Soul as they kept encouraging us (or just me?) to try and stand on the board. I was the first one to fall into the water (and they applauded me for that) and that’s when I realized that the water is very shallow. Knowing this, I mustered enough courage to try and do it again and again – I managed to stand on the board a couple of times but never had the chance to actually paddle while standing.

By the time our time was up I realized that I was basically just playing around – having a good time, trying to balance myself on a moving paddle board the whole time. Little did I know that the time I spent doing all those things is equivalent to an hour’s worth of a full body workout, my shoulders, thighs and stomach are aching right now as I write this blog post. (Am I skinny yet?)

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My friend AM, who is very pregnant tried it as well. She didn’t try to stand on the paddle board which I thought was good for my pride. I would’ve been devastated if she was able to stand on it for a longer period of time, pregnant and all, while I can’t.

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We were extremely hungry afterwards, we went to Coral Restaurant for lunch. We had caprese salad and a huge burger to share, all those calories burned were immediately consumed – story of my life. I’m not sure if we were both just extremely hungry or if that was indeed the best burger we’ve ever had. It had fried eggs and a pineapple which I thought would be weird but it added up so much flavor in it. I wasn’t a big fan of caprese salad on the other hand but that’s because I’m generally not a big fan of caprese salad.

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We spent the rest of the day by the pool which for a weekday was crowded. It didn’t feel congested though as the grounds of Intercontinental Doha is huge. Not a big fan of crowds to be honest but I think the pool area became livelier, more active and had a more fun ambiance compared to the other properties we’ve visited because of the crowd. It was definitely a welcome change for us.

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It was a long, active and a very enjoyable day. Definitely the most fun pool and beach access we’ve ever tried.  I’m seriously considering enrolling myself on a series of SUP classes as it’s definitely the kind of workout I know I would enjoy. I should probably do it before the dreaded summer season of the Middle East start.

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For more photos, visit my Flickr page: Intercontinental Doha Pool and Beach Access
And here’s a short video to make you want to try it even more! 🙂

Pool and beach Access at Intercontinental doha from Pinay Flying High on Vimeo.

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Pool and Beach Access (534x800)

Intercontinental Doha Day Pass

Rate:
Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays : Adult QR200; Child QR100
Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Ladies’ Days: Adult Lady QR100; Adult Gent QR200; Couple QR200; Child QR80
Saturdays and Public Holidays: Adult QR350; Child QR150
Fridays: Members and in-house guests only.
Children under 3 years of age are free of charge.
Children between 3 and 12 years old, child rate applies.
Children of 13 years old and above, adult rate applies.
Children under 18 years old have to be accompanied by an adult.

Facilities: Free form swimming pool and 500-meter sandy private beach considered as the longest private beach in Qatar.

Food and beverage outlets: The Pool Bar, Mykonos and Coral All Day Dining Restaurant.

Contact Details: +974 4484 4852

If you’re interested to try out the SUP class by Surf & Soul, you can visit their Facebook page (click here). For more information about Qatar Expat Women’s Positive Support Group, you can visit their Facebook page (click here).

My friend and I were guests at Intercontinental Doha during this visit to try out the Stand Up Paddle Boarding class and the pool and beach access. As always, photos are my own and opinions stated are genuine and in no way influenced.


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47 Comments

  • Reply Resorts Offering Pool And Beach Access For A Day in Doha, Qatar. - pinay flying high - Doha Blogger | Travel, Expat, Foodpinay flying high – Doha Blogger | Travel, Expat, Food May 12, 2016 at 12:59

    […] my blog post about Intercontinental Doha’s pool and beach access here to see more of the other prices that they have for different days of the […]

  • Reply Vicki April 12, 2016 at 14:03

    This looks like the perfect place to try SUP! I’ve been looking at doing it in Melbourne but the water looks no where near as warm and inviting – and it is certainly not that beautiful shade of blue! And that burger looks like and ample reward for any efforts – especially as you were the one to fall in the water first! Good on you for giving it a go! #weekendwanderlust
    Vicki recently posted…5 Reasons Why Travel is the Solution to 21st Century SocietyMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 12, 2016 at 14:12

      It was an amazing experience, you should definitely try to do it but I’d highly suggest doing it on calm waters. Easier that way. :p

  • Reply Joy @MyTravelingJoys April 11, 2016 at 12:14

    Wow! Definitely looks better than Dubai’s beaches. Hope to visit one day! 🙂
    Joy @MyTravelingJoys recently posted…Chasing Kangaroos in the Grampians AustraliaMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 12, 2016 at 14:18

      I lived in Dubai for 7 years and never have I set foot in any of its beaches, it just doesn’t do it for me. :p

  • Reply Ruth - Tanama Tales April 11, 2016 at 02:15

    Wow, wow wow! That is one pretty beach. I feel like you sometimes. I am from Puerto Rico and grew up used to certain type of beaches. Here in California, I like to walk and hike around the beach / coast but feel no desire to get in.
    Ruth – Tanama Tales recently posted…Guggenheim Museum BilbaoMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:26

      I feel exactly the same way about the beaches of California (at least the ones in LA). :p My Greek mother-in-law also had no desire to get in the beach of LA, she said the same thing. Hahaha.

  • Reply Boss Penguin April 10, 2016 at 20:08

    The beach looks very appealing. Is it a private beach?

    I tried SUP on this trip in Canada. The joy and pride when you stand up is pretty awesome but the shock of water in your face as you fall off matches it. I think I would prefer to be in shallow water where I could stand back up and onto the board as I struggled to get back up again. I agree it is pretty exhausting though

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:28

      Hahaha. Thankfully, I fell butt first not face first. :p I think it’s more dangerous to fall in a shallow water, I’m clumsy and I’m not entirely sure if I’d be able to plant my feet on the sand when I fall in the shallow water. :p

  • Reply bettyl-NZ April 10, 2016 at 12:55

    What a great place–the colors and scenes are beautiful!
    bettyl-NZ recently posted…a few more churchesMy Profile

  • Reply Christy Swagerty (whatupswags) April 9, 2016 at 01:25

    Paddleboarding is super fun, but I’ve only done it on a really calm lake with zero strangers watching me – so I had a lot of moments to mess up and not be embarrassed!! You really should try to take a class, it’s probably the most relaxing and intense workout (I know that makes no sense, but, I think you know now, it’s true!) I’ve ever experienced! Thanks for linking up with us, I’m getting so ready for summer days with all your resort posts!
    Christy Swagerty (whatupswags) recently posted…Vienna Waits For YouMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:32

      At some point, I didn’t really care about the people around me because I realized they’re all busy trying to do the same thing as I am. Hahaha! It is a fun workout, I should do it but probably not now. It’s already super hot here. 🙁

  • Reply Tricia @ The Adventure List April 8, 2016 at 09:45

    I can imagine the aches and pains from doing SUP. I never have done it but usually something your having fun doing, you don’t realize how much you’ve worked yourself. I love your honesty in being the most non-active person. I could rival you. Lol
    Tricia @ The Adventure List recently posted…Enhance Your Berlin Experience with the Perfect HostelMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:34

      HAHAHAHA! Well you’ve got to be super duper lazy to rival me because I think I deserve a medal for being one. :p

  • Reply Patricia April 8, 2016 at 08:19

    Those views were absolutely stunning! I’d love to try stand up paddle boarding, but I’m not a strong swimmer, so I would definitely have to stick to the shallows. Sounds like you had a spectacular time!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:35

      I also am not a strong swimmer that’s why I was scared to fall into the water at first. When I realized how shallow it was, I felt more comfortable. Lol. I wouldn’t be able to do it in a deep water. :p

  • Reply Elizabeth (Wander Mum) April 7, 2016 at 19:13

    Finally! A beach you were impressed with- it must have been good – and certainly looks it from your photos. Staring at the endless ocean rather than at concrete makes a big difference!! Well done on the SUP lessons – am particularly impressed with your pregnant friend… Not sure I’d have braved it. Thanks for linking to #citytripping
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:36

      Oh she is quite impressive, everyone was very concerned about her but she didn’t really mind and was enjoying the whole thing. Lol.

  • Reply Cathy (MummyTravels) April 7, 2016 at 16:15

    This looks really fun – I’ve never tried but I’ve heard it’s pretty hard work (although great for all the muscles). You’d definitely have earned a burger after. And if I am going to keep falling into the water, that incredible turquoise sea would be the one I’d choose… #citytripping
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:37

      It sure is fun and yes, thank you for pointing out that I earned that burger! I was so famished after the SUP. Lol.

  • Reply Tara April 7, 2016 at 15:09

    Sounds like you had all the ingredients for a fabulous time. That water is so clear and beautiful – the sea and the pool. Good for you for trying SUP – looks like a lot of fun!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:37

      It was a marvelous time! Probably the most fun I’ve had since I started this pool and beach access series. :p

  • Reply Sarah April 7, 2016 at 13:59

    This looks so beautiful. I want to try paddle boarding but am scared to but good to know the water is shallow. That burger looked delicious too. You know I’m always on the lookout for food!
    Sarah recently posted…Getting Lost in the Tulips at the 2016 Keukenhof GardensMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:38

      You should definitely try paddle boarding, it’s not as scary as it looks PLUS you wouldn’t feel so guilty eating anything afterwards because you’d feel like you earned it. Haha!

  • Reply DrifterHannah April 7, 2016 at 11:41

    Oooh, I’ve also wanted to try this for a long time! It looks like such fun! I must admit I’ve travelled through Doha a few times in transit, but never thought about exploring Qatar, although I find the Middle East so fascinating. I was recently in Oman and loved it.

    Also, great photos!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:39

      Really? You should get out of the airport next time and explore this city. It’s a small one so would be easy to go around. Oman is fantastic! It’s my favorite country in this region although I haven’t lived there yet. :p

  • Reply Wanderlustingk April 7, 2016 at 01:37

    I’m not a beach person, but this place looks incredible! I’ve always wanted to try standup paddleboarding and what a place to try it! I feel like I’d just fall into the water continuously although I’m experiencing working out by just paddling standing up!? Seems like the perfect lazy exercise, but maybe not so lazy! Beautiful photos.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:43

      Hahaha. Yes, even falling in to the water is a workout so yes, you should definitely try it. It’s absolutely fun! :p

  • Reply Andrea April 7, 2016 at 01:14

    Looks like interesting topography and thats a color of water I’m not sure I can say I’ve really seen before, its sorta milky! But yes, still pretty as any beach is! 😀 Nice resort, will have to visit!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:44

      HAHAHAHA. Milky, that’s a great description but yes I do know what you mean. It looks gross from afar but it’s actually very clear. :p

  • Reply Cassie @ Cass Travels April 6, 2016 at 21:38

    Wow, what a gorgeous spot!! The colour of that water is just amazing and isn’t SUP so fun?! I tried it in Hawaii, and absolutely loved it, though my arms were killling me the next day 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:45

      My whole body was killing me afterwards. Lol. Hawaii, what an incredible place to try out SUP but wouldn’t the water be too rough?

  • Reply Monica Mei aka The Wanderlusteur April 6, 2016 at 19:45

    Oh, yes, the beaches in Phils are gorg. I went back in 2007 to El Nido in Palawan and want to go back! But your stay here in the Doha Intercontinental looks like fun! I’ve been meaning to buy a SUP board as well to help with attaining the beach bod. 😉 #goals

    http://www.thewanderlusteur.com

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:45

      I haven’t been to El Nido, lucky you. 🙁 Ohhhh beach bod with SUP – definitely doable. 🙂

  • Reply Laura @ Grassroots Nomad April 6, 2016 at 19:41

    This looks like the perfect spot to try out SUP – such clear and flat water that would make it such an exciting and memorable experience. Love your photos, it looks amazing! 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:47

      Thank you and yes, it’s the perfect place to try SUP for the first time. Calm waters are easier to navigate. :p

  • Reply Jasmine April 6, 2016 at 18:39

    Looks like a beautiful spot! I’ve been wanting to try SUP since I keep seeing people do it on reality dating shows and it looks like fun. I have terrible balance though so I think I would be like you and be scared to stand up and paddle.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:49

      Reality dating shows! That’s one way to take a date out, I’d love that actually! :p Oh trust me, I’m the clumsiest person on earth and my balance is so bad I can’t even keep both my feet on a concrete. :p

  • Reply Jess @ Room Service Required April 5, 2016 at 21:22

    I’m a beach bum at heart! I’m happiest lazing about on the beach with a good book, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to try stand up paddle boarding! What an awesome new thing to try out!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:55

      I’m also a beach bum but water sports activity I think is doable for me, water has a different effect – it makes you feel like you’re still being lazy. Lol.

  • Reply carrie April 5, 2016 at 19:00

    Wow! some of those pictures are postcard worthy! that beautiful blue water and pale sand is breath taking.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 11, 2016 at 07:55

      Oh thank you Carrie, photos didn’t do justice though – it’s a beautiful place. 🙂

  • Reply vinneve April 3, 2016 at 21:28

    Nice post and beautiful photos. How I wish I knew about you when I visited Qatar a few months ago. I have met Tiffany though. Cheers!
    vinneve recently posted…Abu Dhabi: Activities Galore!My Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 4, 2016 at 14:36

      It would’ve been wonderful to meet you. All three of us, frolicking the city – hah! 🙂

  • Reply Marissa_My Greece, My Travels blog March 31, 2016 at 18:45

    I am a big beach critic too and the water there looks pretty nice! Good to know the water was shallow.. If it wasn’t, I don’t think I’d have enough courage. I swim good but deep water — no thanks! Nice experience. Glad you had a great time:)
    Marissa_My Greece, My Travels blog recently posted…Where to Stay in CreteMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High April 3, 2016 at 17:38

      Me too! I can swim but I don’t have enough skills to swim in deep water. Lol.

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